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tv   Nightline  ABC  September 15, 2016 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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this is "nightline." >> tonight, while celebrities like beyonce are rocking natural hair in formation, a disturbing school ban on traditional black hairstyles igniting a national debate and accusations of discrimination. >> i've worn those so i definitely felt targeted. >> the mother and daughter fighting back. plus drop-dead gorgeous. this youtube star has made a career out of being herself. no matter who she is. >> i'm gay, right? i am transgender. i am a lesbian. >> how gigi gorgeous went from bullied at school to being embraced by millions. your taco salad cleared for takeoff. google testing a new drone
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i know more about isis than the generals do, believe me. nuclear, just the power the devastation, is very important to me. i want to be unpredictable, unpredictable, unpredictable, unpredictable. priorities usa action is responsible for the content of this advertising. tonight a story from that often explosive nexus between the personal and political.
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specifically the hairstyles of young african-americans. and the controversial decision made by one school district that fed into a heated national debate. here's abc's deborah roberts. >> reporter: this 15-year-old ashanti scott knows hair can say so much about us. a cheerleader at butler high in louisville, kentucky, she proudly wears hers in its natural tightly curled state. so she was stunned this year when she saw her school's new dress code po that as you kept reading it just added more and more hairstyles that were natural and mostly worn by black people. >> did it feel personal to you? >> it felt very personal to me because i've worn those hairstyles. >> it was almost like an attack on me and who i am and my culture. >> reporter: ashanti and mom attica became part of a hot national debate about perceptions involving natural hair. what offended the scots is this
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banning dread locks, twists, afros longer than two inches, and cornrows, which is even misspelled. attica, kentucky state legislature, immediately called her daughter's school. but it was after hours so she did what many of us do when frustrated, turned to social media. on twitter she wrote, so my daughter had registration today and let's just say she's not happy about the jcps no natural hair policy. the tweet going viral within minutes. >> why not wait till the next day and call the school? and try to sort it out that way this. >> because it was fresh, it was on my mind, i knew i had the rest of the night to connect to other people who may also have some concerns about the policy as well. >> reporter: and she did. soon hundreds of responses. many from parents posting photos of their own children with hair-dos that would violate the policy. >> i talked to my girlfriends about natural hair. we literally talk about natural
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striking a nerve here in louisville. >> i thought about coming to work several times with it out but have always decided against it. would it be too much? really, what is too much? >> reporter: that same question at the center of a growing conversation about self-identity. with more and more african-americans choosing to embrace their god-given hair. >> the natural hair movement is more than hair. it is a lifestyle. it is learning to be comfortable in the skin that you're in. >> reporter: nicky wanton, author and blogger hair, recalls growing up feeling that straight hair was more acceptable than curly or kinky hair. >> everything that i saw growing up, magazines, television, movies, people on the street, people on the runway, all you saw was straight hair. long, straight hair. even women that look like me had long, flowing, straight hair. i knew that whenever my hair got wet, it didn't look like that. ? ? knotty mess ?
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? my dad alabama my mother louisiana ? >> reporter: from beyonce -- ? i'm a baby with a baby hair afro ? >> reporter: to sesame street -- ? my hair looks good in corn rows ? >> reporter: look at celebrities rocking natural hair on magazine covers and the red carpet. >> for the last 50 years, we're told the way we're not good enough, the way our hair na our features, our lips, our butts, our hips, our everything, not acceptable. to be able to reclaim that and take that back and say, you know what, i am beautiful, i'm gorgeous, and i don't need to change anything about myself. that's powerful. >> reporter: a perception this father and daughter duo are embracing big-time. >> when i take photos, i feel like a princess. >> reporter: one instagram photo at a time. artist bennie harlam and
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become a social media sensation. >> grow your hair, be phenomenal, be fabulous, be exactly who you are. >> reporter: celebrating their crowns as vinny calls them. >> this is not about photos, this is not about images. it's about inspiring people to believe in themselves. >> reporter: for him, teaching his daughter to be proud of where she comes from. >> we should all love where our roots come from. whether it's straight, long, kink kinky, know what i mean, whether it's that or if it goes down to where her hair goes, it's gorgeous. >> reporter: a message thought revolutionary back in the '60s during the black power movement. even perceived as a political statement. ? you have the prettiest hair in the world ? >> reporter: just ask hairstylist isis brantley. she recently hosted a rally in dallas. >> african children are under attack. their hair is being told that it
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unkempt. >> reporter: but her argument may have been lost with a controversial guest. rachel dolezal, a white woman making headlines claiming she was black. >> this is a justice issue. as an educator i have a responsibility to participate in the movement. >> reporter: though dolezal, a hair braider, supports the natural hair movement, apparently many don't support her. instead of the usual hundreds who might turn out, close to a dozen turned out for but braids were never meant to cause controversy in louisville, kentucky, says william allen, principal at butler high. >> we're about kids here at this school. >> reporter: he says the ban on natural hairstyles was all a big misunderstanding. >> the language for braids has always been in our dress code. strictly for male students. there's never been restrictions for female students. doesn't a policy like that inherently single out black kids? >> all our policies are for all our students.
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step back and look at culture versus style. look at specific instances we have in our dress code policy that might relate to a specific group. >> reporter: just after attica scott's tweet the school quickly called a meeting. >> today i'm proposing we immediately suspend our section of the dress code policy about students' hair. >> reporter: suspending the policy but igniting more anger. >> i would love to hear from the students first -- >> they have affected us african-american community -- >> instead of making assumptions, y'all should have asked. >> reporter: but one black member of the decision board, sha reese balden trainam, mom of a daughter at butler, said the policy was simply about neat grooming, not offending a culture. >> i know it sounds crazy standing here with an african-american woman with braids. i was not offended. it doesn't mean that i don't understand the offense. >> reporter: she hopes future
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going on social media. >> i don't want to live in a world where everywhere i go, i have to see everything as black and white. i don't want to raise my kids like that. but i will teach them to stand up for what is right. i applaud her for seeing an issue and standing up for it. but i think that we have to be very careful about how we address these issues because it affects our chdr . >> it's not about intent, it's the way it landed. the way it land for me are, my daughter, other parents, it was discriminatory and it was offensive. >> you've got a principal who was black, parents on the council who are black. do you really think they were out to discriminate against black students? >> just because you're black doesn't mean you're not feeding into the system. i work at places often where there's still issues of race. i've worked at universities
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race. that doesn't end just because i work there and i'm black. >> reporter: butler has since changed its dress policy to say that hair must be well-groomed, well-kept, and at a reasonable length. a positive outcome, say ashanti and attica scott, and hopefully a lesson, they say that will relevance nate beyond the classroom. >> it's not about one school. it's about the public school system and the way that it's policing kids who are trying to get an education. they want to come and lear >> reporter: for "nightline" i'm deborah roberts in louisville, kentucky. next, she's got both glamour and guts. inside the world of gigi gorgeous, the youtube star who has helped pave the way for so many other transgender people. breaking news from the tech world. and it involves flying burritos. hey, need fast heartburn relief? try cool mint zantac. it releases a cooling sensation in your mouth and throat.
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over 20,000 nevadans rely on planned parenthood for access to basic health services and critical cancer screenings. but congressman heck voted to defund planned parenthood and was willing to shut down the government over it.
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dscc is responsible for the content of this advertising. before caitlyn jenner, there was gigi gorgeous, the young youtube star whose outrageous videos and moving personal minds about transgender people. tonight my "nightline" coanchor juju chang takes us inside gigi's fabulous but still challenging world? "social stars." >> reporter: she is every inch the hollywood fantasy version of perfection. >> it's true. >> reporter: a barbie come to life with platinum hair and six-inch stilettos. >> i love it, very versace.
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gorgeous woman, gigi gorgeous, started life as a canadian boy named gregory. >> i knew i was different, i knew i felt like a girl. >> hi, it's gigi -- >> reporter: her honest and outrageous youtube videos have made her a star in the internet age. >> definitely makes your lips look full and glossy -- >> reporter: nearly 2.4 million youtube subscribers watching her every move. >> why do i look like a muppet but you look like a rock star? i look like a muppet. >> reporter: gigi, now 24, of age just as youtube was starting to catch on. at first, as a gay teenager, sharing his love of makeup. >> so this look is super, super easy. >> reporter: and talking about his dates with boys. >> yeah, from there the weirdness escalated and the date got even worse. >> reporter: and then struggling in realtime as thousands of fans watched with the idea that she was, in fact,transgender. >> this video is kind of me just telling you guys that i want to be female. >> i met, you know, a few people along the road and i said, you
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kind of like a ding moment. >> your self-discovery has been shared by millions. >> i came out twice. essentially. on my youtube channel. >> what was harder, coming out as gay or transgender? >> i think definitely coming out as transgender was harder for me because it was more truthful, it was more raw, it was more real. >> hi, guys. it's me, gigi. >> reporter: her unscripted life playing out for all to see years before caitlyn jenner. she shared everything from light-hearted shopping sprees and beauty tips to raw, intimate details of her plastic surgeries, of which there have been many. >> all i remember is just throbbing pain. like i thought -- i felt like someone had shot me in my face. >> reporter: all this catapulting gigi to bona fide hero status of the lgbtq community, and beloved by her fans. >> who are gigi's fans?
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goodness, i can't believe i'm meeting you, me and my daughter watch your videos and bond over it. >> reporter: some of her favorite videos. >> this is one i filmed after a recent relationship. and i got super creative and filmed a music video with my friend. ? ? stay with me stay with me ? >> reporter: and read me some comments -- good and bad. >> while i am proud that a trans girl can fly in a private jet and wear designer gowns, gigi never a blessed/lucky she is. >> reporter: with all those fans and all those views -- >> leave them on about an hour and then you are good to go. >> reporter: come endorsements. one big break from crest in canada. >> i'm going to work with crest, it was a huge honor to be with the first transgender spokesperson for the brand. it was a huge deal for me. >> reporter: before the fame and fans, a struggle to fit in. did you ever get bullied or harassed? >> absolutely. i was bullied awful.
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when high school came around, i found myself. i found my strength and my voice. >> reporter: when she did, it was too late to tell her mother, who died from cancer when gigi was 19. >> there's no other point in my life where i would want her back more than i do right now. but i can't. i can't have her back. >> my mom is someone i never got to say in her eyes that i was transgender and that's something that will always, always just sit not right with me. >> reporter: beyond her personal struggles, gigi is fame to confront issues facing the transgender community. what kind of message do you want to send? >> it's awful that there's so much discrimination in the world. but i would just say, hold on, be positive, find someone on youtube that you can relate with. >> reporter: while gigi's life now may seem carefree, her perfect pink bubble of existence burst dramatically on a recent long-awaited vacation to dubai.
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because i am transgender. >> what did you letter, if anything, from that detainment? >> i learned that discrimination is not over. and it makes me scared for anybody else like me. and maybe they didn't have the resources to get out or get help. it is very scary. >> reporter: back at home, she is a hollywood "it" girl teaming with mylie cyrus to raise awareness for transgender issues. >> everybody, mylie cyrus! ? and i spoke pot ? >> reporte the vmas. ? >> i'm shopping with gigi. >> it's so good. >> that is life. this is life. >> reporter: her greatest weapon? being herself. today shopping for that next killer outfit to silence the haters. >> i'll be right back. ta- ta-da! >> reporter: perfect for the red carpet or her next date. gigi now happily in a relationship with a woman. >> you used to date a guy. >> yes. >> now you're dating a girl.
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>> explain that to people who have a more linear view of sexuality. >> i found someone that i truly love, and i have fallen in love with her. and that's the truth. and, you know, labels can be labels but at the end of the day, love is love. >> reporter: but then just hours ago, gigi posting this video on her youtube page. >> from this point forward, i am a lesbian. >> reporter: coming out for a third time. >> but then someone may come along in your life that you're like, oh my god, ding, this is the person. >> reporter: and seeming to embrace a label she initially resisted. an ever-unfolding story for an individual redefining the rules every step of the way. >> that was fun. >> that was super fun. >> reporter: for "nightline," i'm juju chang in hollywood, california. next, the top secret google project leaking onto the internet tonight.
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i'm catherine cortez masto and i come from a big family. a whole lot of people. a whole lot of love. and a whole lot of food. my dad's family was from mexico. my mom's was from italy.
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dad got his start parking cars at the dunes hotel. but he went on to be the head of tourism for las vegas and helped build the city we know today. dad lived his life following three principles, work hard, be honest and respect everyone, that's what i tried to do as attorney general. catherine took on the big banks when they preyed on homeowners. and forced them to pay one point nine billion dollars to nevadans. she became a national leader in protecting children from sex traffickers. i'm catherine cortez masto, i approve this message because i've spent my career solving problems, isn't that something
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the best and most delicious use of drone technology ever. it's a bird. it's a plane. it's a -- burrito. students at virginia tech could soon be getting their chipotle fix via drone. the top-secret experiment led by google's project wing that "the roanoke times" says it caught on camera. could flying fast food take off? the tech giant is not the first to drum up drone amazon marketing prime air, promising packages in 30 minutes or less. >> drops off the package and flies straight back up to altitude. >> walmart looking to pilot the technology. but it isn't just home delivery. from extreme racing -- to shooting hollywood blockbusters like "skyfall" -- drone technology is everywhere.
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test is but a taste to come. still no word whether guac will cost you extra. burning questions. thank you for watching abc news tonight. gma first thing in the morning. as always we're online 24/7 at abcnews.com and on our "nightline" facebook page. thanks again for watching and good night. >> now on "celebrity page" tv, two big movie goes, plenltsy of stars. >> two men tough. >> we're taking you all over north america for the premieres of lala land and bridget jones' baby. >> it was a happy, happy unit. >> taylor swift and katy perry be putting their bad blood behind them? >> the ride singer says she will
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under one condition. then it is a monster attack. mother monster herself, lady gaga shocks the crowd at a london club. plus, kentdal jenner covers allure magazine. the model talks friends, family and belty? >> that's so annoying. >> big stars, big hollywood. "celebrity page tv" starts now. welcome to "celebrity page." i'm toni isabel bringing you your entertainment let's get to the hollywood wrap. hollywood takes over toronto. emma stone and ryan gosling coming together for the premiere of their new movie musical "lala land." ? >> stone bringing old hollywood glam to the 21st century in this yellow dress. gosling looking every part the leading man he is in a patterned navy suit. the 35-year-old excited about the movie and excited to be in his home country of canada.

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